CHARPENTIER ON POLE AT PHILLIP ISLAND AS SOFUOGLU CONTINUES ON STEEP LEARNING CURVE

For the second 2006 race in succession Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) scored pole in World Supersport, adding to his recent success in Qatar. It was the 28th consecutive pole position for a Honda rider in World Supersport, since Assen in 2003. On a warm track Charpentier was the only rider into the 1'35 bracket, setting a best time of 1'35.616. Second quickest rider Kevin Curtain (Yamaha) set a 1'36.436, just under 0.8 seconds from Charpentier. As the race winner in 2005, Charpentier is out to repeat the feat, to add to his Qatar race victory in round one and extend his championship lead.

Charpentier's team-mate, Kenan Sofuoglu (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) secured a safe sixth place on his first visit to Phillip Island, earning a second row grid placing with a 1'36.859. Sofuoglu was fourth fastest on day one, and despite the mass of more experienced riders making improvements around him, he was less than 1.249 seconds from his team-mate's pole time, improving on his opening day best by 0.703 seconds.

Ronald Ten Kate - Team Manager

"Very happy to take pole once again with Sebastien. Because we already had quite a gap yesterday, we concentrated on possible race set-ups for tomorrow, to prove our consistency. It will be a hard and long race in this heat, but everything is going well. Towards the end we threw in more of a fast lap set-up and he did quite a good lap time, but the track conditions were not as good as yesterday. But we are happy with pole. For Kenan to get a second row start, and sixth position, is a good result for him in his first visit here. And we know what kind of a racer he is, so he will be up there in the leading group. Tomorrow morning in warm-up we are going to confirm a couple of things, especially on Kenan's bike, and I think we are ready for it."

Sébastien Charpentier - WSS Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(Pole position - 1'35.616)

"I'm happy because we are in good condition for the race tomorrow. This morning we had a small disappointment; nothing important and it actually helped us understand the bike a bit better. The mechanics had good ideas and we went in a good direction, so our best work was in the afternoon. I think for tomorrow we have more good possibilities to finish on the podium. Many people went fast this afternoon so it was difficult work, also for Kenan, as we can see from the sheets. I hope we can have the same conditions in the race, and our tyres are good. It will be hard tomorrow, lots of laps in hot conditions, which is normal for Australia."

Kenan Sofuoglu - WSS Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(6th position - 1'36.865)

"For me this track is quite difficult because in most corners I am capable of setting second best time, but on the last corner I lose a lot of time and positions on the grid. If I can make that last corner as good as the rest then my lap time would be much better. In the race it should not be as difficult, as we are all in a group and I am better in race conditions. I wanted to start on the front row but first time here it is not easy. In some corners you cannot see what is coming next. But the gap between me and the other riders in front is not so bad, not two seconds or anything like that. So we should hopefully be better in the race. I am positive and I believe I can score a podium."

-wtkh-